Parution – Teaching the Empire: Education and State Loyalty in Late Habsburg Austria, Scott O. Moore

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Teaching the Empire explores how Habsburg Austria utilized education to cultivate the patriotism of its people. Public schools have been a tool for patriotic development in Europe and the United States since their creation in the nineteenth century. On a basic level, this civic education taught children about their state while also articulating the common myths, heroes, and ideas that could bind society together. For the most part historians have focused on the development of civic education in nation-states like Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. There has been an assumption that the multinational Habsburg Monarchy did not, or could not, use their public schools for this purpose. Teaching the Empire proves this was not the case.

Through a robust examination of the civic education curriculum used in the schools of Habsburg from 1867-1914, Moore demonstrates that Austrian authorities attempted to forge a layered identity rooted in loyalties to an individual’s home province, national group, and the empire itself. Far from seeing nationalism as a zero-sum game, where increased nationalism decreased loyalty to the state, officials felt that patriotism could only be strong if regional and national identities were equally strong. The hope was that this layered identity would create a shared sense of belonging among populations that may not share the same cultural or linguistic background.

Austrian civic education was part of every aspect of school life-from classroom lessons to school events. This research revises long-standing historical notions regarding civic education within Habsburg and exposes the complexity of Austrian identity and civil society, deservedly integrating the Habsburg Monarchy into the broader discussion of the role of education in modern society.

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Publication – Jan Surman, “Universities in Imperial Austria 1848-1918: A Social History of a Multilingual Space”, 2019.

Combining history of science and a history of universities with the new imperial history, Universities in Imperial Austria 1848–1918: A Social History of a Multilingual Space by Jan Surman analyzes the practice of scholarly migration and its lasting influence on the intellectual output in the Austrian part of the Habsburg Empire.

The Habsburg Empire and its successor states were home to developments that shaped Central Europe’s scholarship well into the twentieth century. Universities became centers of both state- and nation-building, as well as of confessional resistance, placing scholars if not in conflict, then certainly at odds with the neutral international orientation of academe.

By going beyond national narratives, Surman reveals the Empire as a state with institutions divided by language but united by legislation, practices, and other influences. Such an approach allows readers a better view to how scholars turned gradually away from state-centric discourse to form distinct language communities after 1867; these influences affected scholarship, and by examining the scholarly record, Surman tracks the turn.

Drawing on archives in Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Ukraine, Surman analyzes the careers of several thousand scholars from the faculties of philosophy and medicine of a number of Habsburg universities, thus covering various moments in the history of the Empire for the widest view. Universities in Imperial Austria 1848–1918 focuses on the tension between the political and linguistic spaces scholars occupied and shows that this tension did not lead to a gradual dissolution of the monarchy’s academia, but rather to an ongoing development of new strategies to cope with the cultural and linguistic multitude.

Publication – Scott O. Moore, “Teaching the Empire: Education and State Loyalty in Late Habsburg Austria”, 2020.

Teaching the Empireexplores how Habsburg Austria utilized education to cultivate the patriotism of its people. Public schools have been a tool for patriotic development in Europe and the United States since their creation in the nineteenth century. On a basic level, this civic education taught children about their state while also articulating the common myths, heroes, and ideas that could bind society together. For the most part historians have focused on the development of civic education in nation-states like Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. There has been an assumption that the multinational Habsburg Monarchy did not, or could not, use their public schools for this purpose. Teaching the Empire proves this was not the case.

Through a robust examination of the civic education curriculum used in the schools of Habsburg from 1867–1914, Moore demonstrates that Austrian authorities attempted to forge a layered identity rooted in loyalties to an individual’s home province, national group, and the empire itself. Far from seeing nationalism as a zero-sum game, where increased nationalism decreased loyalty to the state, officials felt that patriotism could only be strong if regional and national identities were equally strong. The hope was that this layered identity would create a shared sense of belonging among populations that may not share the same cultural or linguistic background.

Austrian civic education was part of every aspect of school life—from classroom lessons to school events. This research revises long-standing historical notions regarding civic education within Habsburg and exposes the complexity of Austrian identity and civil society, deservedly integrating the Habsburg Monarchy into the broader discussion of the role of education in modern society.

Publication – Liam Chambers et Thomas O’Connor (eds.), “College communities abroad. Education, migration and Catholicism in early modern Europe”, 2017.

This book repositions early modern Catholic abroad colleges in their interconnected regional, national and transnational contexts. From the sixteenth century, Irish, English and Scots Catholics founded more than fifty colleges in France, Flanders, Spain, Portugal, the Papal States and the Habsburg Empire. At the same time, Catholics in the Dutch Republic, the Scandinavian states and the Ottoman Empire faced comparable challenges and created similar institutions. Until their decline in the late-eighteenth century, tens of thousands of students passed through the colleges. Traditionally, these institutions were treated within limiting denominational and national contexts. This collection, at once building on and transcending inherited historiographies, explores the colleges’ institutional interconnectivity and their interlocking roles as instruments of regional communities, dynastic interests and international Catholicism.

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